Friday, January 11, 2013

Ice Skating on LI and in NYC

With winter nearing its peak and students having time to kill before the Spring semester, it is good for them to take advantage of what the area has to offer this time of year. One of my personal favorite winter activities is ice skating, and there are plenty of places in the area, which your student can enjoy. Whether they are a neophyte on the ice or the second-coming of Mike Bossy, each of the rinks in the area cater to all skill levels.  Below are a few suggestions.

City goers skate under the Manhattan lights
at Wollman Rink in Central Park.


Citi Pond at Bryant Park is entering its eighth season of public skates this year. Not only is the Pond easy to access (simply take the Blue Beetle into Mineola, catch a westbound over to Penn Station and walk to Bryant Park on the corner of 40th and 6th), skating is free. That said, skate rentals are $14 per pair and there is an extra fee to check in bags, but if your student brings their own skates and have a lock handy, they can enjoy the rink and secure their valuables in one of the on-site lockers without charge. The Rink at Rockefeller Center is also a fixture for city goers. They have walk up sessions daily, which cost $20 per person with an extra $10 for a pair of skates. Though it may be somewhat pricey (and somewhat crowded), it's a great experience.  There's also Wollman Rink in beautiful Central Park, which has public sessions 10:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Sundays. So tell your student to grab a cup of hot chocolate and experience the magic of skating underneath the stars while being surrounded by the city's beautifully lit skyline.

If your student isn't up for taking a train all the way to Manhattan, and if they are lucky enough to have a car (or a friend with a car) handy, they can take a quick trip over to one of the myriad rinks on the Island. Though the outdoor rink at nearby RXR Plaza is closed for the season, there is still Newbridge Arena in Bellmore (about 10 minutes away from campus by car), Cantiague Park in Hicksville (about 15 minutes away) and the Town of Oyster Bay Skating Rink in Bethpage (about 20 minutes away) just to name a few; and each of these rinks have public sessions weekdays and weekends.

So, as the January session progresses, please urge your students to take some time to enjoy what winter brings to the region. It's a great time to discover what makes our island and our city so unique.

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